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Earth Science- BJU vs. Prentice Hall

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I am planning to have my rising 8th grade son do Earth Science this year. I have purchased all of the Teaching Company DVDs that relate to Earth Science, and plan to watch them myself, though I haven't decided how I might have my son use them.


I keep hearing on this board that folks do not like to use BJU without the DVDs. Why is that? I'm not keen to spend $400 for my science materials since I've already purchased Teaching Co. DVDs. Can a reasonably science literate person feel confident just using the text?


How easy is it to purchase materials directly from Prentice Hall? I've never done that.


I prefer texts that have a strong narrative but still have good supporting photos and illustrations. I really dislike lots of "fluff" sidebar stuff that distracts from the main text. For that reason, I've been tempted to go with a college level text. There are college level texts written by the authors of the Prentice Hall text. However, if I'm being honest, I think it may be another year or two before ds will be ready to handle that level, so I'm looking again at BJU and Prentice Hall.


Tell me your experience with either BJU or Prentice Hall Earth Science!



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Can a reasonably science literate person feel confident just using the text?



I used BJU science with my oldest through 9th grade Physical Science. If I can do it, I'm sure you can. The TC will help, too, so you won't need to spend as much time teaching.


The text you're referring to, Space & Earth, is challenging and I did have to read the TM beforehand, but it's not terribly difficult. It's designed for 8th grade, although I think it would also be fine for anywhere 7th - 9th.


Some of the suggested labs are expensive, but you're not supposed to do all of them, anyway. I switched out a few. There is a decent amount of math in the course, but my oldest did it concurrently with pre-algebra, and she was fine.


From what I could gather, BJU ended up being less expensive than PH because PH's teacher's materials tend to be pricey. You might check half.com if you're interested in PH.

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I keep hearing on this board that folks do not like to use BJU without the DVDs. Why is that?




To answer your other question, it is probably because you do need to have some understanding of it in order to teach it, and BJU does require teaching. It's completely different from a more independent course such as Apologia.


While I could read it and brush up enough to teach the science up through physical science, I'll probably never use their chemistry. That would be a disaster!


I think pairing TC with it will be perfect. I learned a lot from S&E - it's very thorough. Plan the year in advance, though, if you use it - it's a lot to get through in a year!

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I am planning to teach from BJU Space and Earth science to my ninth grader in the fall. She just doesn't like Dr. Wile's writing style in the Apologia series so I looked around. What intrigues me with BJU is the colorful photos and well written text. My older teen recently finished the extensive two-volume BJU biology text and really enjoyed it. He read the chapters by himself and then discussed with me about once a week, basically self-taught himself. My ninth grader made need my assistance but is a strong reader and independent learner. Choosing strong curriculum really depends on your child's learning needs. THe Apologia series are no doubt terrific, but my children were of a different opinion. Oh, I never purchased the DVD with Bob Jones. The BJU offers a very thorough program. THe texts are often available used. Best wishes on your quest!

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...with no problem. My dc prefer not to take classes exclusively by video, so I've never considered using the DVDs. I haven't used the current Earth and Space science, but rather the older edition Earth Science text as well as the BJU Biology text. Both cover a lot of material in depth, and I thought both were excellent. Neither was too difficult to teach; they just required me to read the material in advance. I do have a science background, but it's been a long time since I was in college!


Science can be intimidating for the non-science parent, and that's probably why the DVDs provide extra confidence. That, and they can be done independently, which can be really important for the parent of many children.

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Thanks for your responses, ladies! I went back to the BJU site and realized that BJU doesn't cover all the topics I want to cover this year. So I was looking at the Prentice Hall site again. A very cool thing happened, though. I discovered through a friend that a local company had a very lightly used current edition Prentice Hall book & TE for sale. I was able to pick both of them up for less than the cost of a brand new TE! That sort of thing rarely happens to me! Happy dance here.:D

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